Category Archives: Marriage

“God is smiling” by Martin Luther

“Now observe that when that clever harlot, our natural reason, takes a look at married life, she turns up her nose and says, ‘Alas, must I rock the baby, wash its diapers, make its bed, smell its stench, stay up nights with it, take care of it when it cries, heal its rashes and sores, and on top of that care for my wife, provide for her, labor at my trade, take care of this and take care of that, do this and do that, endure this and endure that, and whatever else of bitterness and drudgery married life involves? What, should I make such a prisoner of myself? O you poor, wretched fellow, have you taken a wife? Fie, fie upon such wretchedness and bitterness! It is better to remain free and lead a peaceful, carefree life; I will become a priest or a nun and compel my children to do likewise.’

What then does Christian faith say to this? It opens its eyes, looks upon all these insignificant, distasteful, and despised duties in the Spirit, and is aware that they are all adorned with divine approval as with the costliest gold and jewels.

It says, ‘O God, because I am certain that Thou hast created me as a man and hast from my body begotten this child, I also know for a certainty that it meets with Thy perfect pleasure. I confess to Thee that I am not worthy to rock the little babe or wash its diapers, or to be entrusted with the care of the child and its mother. How is it that I, without any merit, have come to this distinction of being certain that I am serving Thy creature and Thy most precious will? O how gladly will I do so, though the duties should be even more insignificant and despised. Neither frost nor heat, neither drudgery nor labor, will distress or dissuade me, for I am certain that it is thus pleasing in Thy sight.’

Now you tell me, when a father goes ahead and washes diapers or performs some other mean task for his child, and someone ridicules him as an effeminate fool—though that father is acting in the spirit just described and in Christian faith—my dear fellow you tell me, which of the two is most keenly ridiculing the other? God, with all His angels and creatures, is smiling—not because that father is washing diapers, but because he is doing so in Christian faith.”

–Martin Luther, “The Estate of Marriage” in Luther’s Works, Vol. 45 : The Christian in Society II (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 45; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 39–40.

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“Marital love in action” by Paul David Tripp

1. Love is being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of your husband or wife without impatience or anger.

2. Love is actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward your spouse, while looking for ways to encourage and praise.

3. Love is the daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.

4. Love is being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding, and being more committed to unity and love than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.

5. Love is a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.

6. Love means being willing, when confronted by your spouse, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.

7. Love is a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to your husband or wife is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.

8. Love is being unwilling to do what is wrong when you have been wronged but to look for concrete and specific ways to overcome evil with good.

9. Love is being a good student of your spouse, looking for his physical, emotional, and spiritual needs so that in some way you can remove the burden, support him as he carries it, or encourage him along the way.

10. Love means being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the problems that you face as a couple, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.

11. Love is always being willing to ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grand forgiveness when it is requested.

12. Love is recognizing the high value of trust in a marriage and being faithful to your promises and true to your word.

13. Love is speaking kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack your spouse’s character or assault his or her intelligence.

14. Love is being unwilling to flatter, lie, manipulate, or deceive in any way in order to co-opt your spouse into giving you what you want or doing something your way.

15. Loving is being unwilling to ask your spouse to be the source of your identity, meaning and purpose, or inner sense of well-being, while refusing to be the source of his or hers.

16. Love is the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a husband or a wife.

17. Love is a commitment to say no to selfish instincts and to do everything that is within your ability to promote real unity, functional understanding, and active love in your marriage.

18. Love is staying faithful to your commitment to treat your spouse with appreciation, respect, and grace, even in moments when he or she doesn’t seem to deserve it or is unwilling to reciprocate.

19. Love is the willingness to make regular and costly sacrifices for the sake of your marriage without asking anything in return or using your sacrifices to place your spouse in your debt.

20. Love is being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm your marriage, hurt your husband or wife, or weaken the bond of trust between you.

21. Love is refusing to be self-focused or demanding instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired.

22. Love is a daily admitting to yourself, your spouse, and God that you are not able to love this way without God’s protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering grace.

23. Love is a specific commitment of the heart to a specific person that causes you to give yourself to a specific lifestyle of care that requires you to be willing to make sacrifices that have that person’s good in view.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 191-201.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Jesus Christ, Love of God, Love one another, Marriage, Paul David Tripp, Quotable Quotes, The Church, The Gospel

“Holy women who hope in God” by John Piper

“A Christian woman does not put her hope in her husband, or in getting a husband. She does not put her hope in her looks or her intelligence or her creativity. She puts her hope in the promises of God.

She is described in Proverbs 31:25: ‘Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.’ She laughs at everything the future could bring because she hopes in God.

She looks away from the troubles and miseries and obstacles of life that seem to make the future bleak, and she focuses her attention on the sovereign power and love of God who rules in heaven and does on earth whatever He pleases (Ps. 115:3).

She knows her Bible, and she knows her theology of the sovereignty of God, and she knows His promise that He will be with her and will help her and strengthen her no matter what. This is the deep, unshakable root of Christian womanhood.”

–John Piper, This Momentary Marriage (Wheaton: Crossway, 2009), 97.

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“The devil’s great enemy” by Martin Luther

“It is a great and special blessing when people in a marriage endure well. They are the devil’s great enemy.”

–Martin Luther, Off the Record With Martin Luther: An Original Translation of the Table Talks, trans. and ed. Charles Daudert (Kalamazoo, MI: Hansa-Hewlett, 2009), entry no. 1794, p. 43.

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“Remember Jesus” by Paul David Tripp

“When you are working on rebuilding trust, you need to place your hope not in your husband or wife but in the third Person in your marriage, the Lord Jesus. He is with you and for you. As the designer of marriage and the one who brought you together, He has more zeal that your marriage would actually be what He created it to be than you will ever have.

He has the wisdom you need. He has the strength you need. He offers the forgiveness you need. And He will not leave you when the going gets tough. Cry out to Him; He will never turn a deaf ear to you. Listen to His Word; there is wisdom there that has the power to restore.

And when you are discouraged and feel that you are all alone and no one understands, remember Jesus. He suffered rejection and mistreatment. He was not even able to trust His closest companions. On the cross, as He bore our sins, even His Father forsook Him.

He knows what you are going through, and He is the only one who is ready and able to give you the grace you need as you seek to put the shattered china of your trust together again.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 165.

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“The bright message of Scripture” by Paul David Tripp

“The bright message of Scripture is that change really is possible. God sent His Son to live, die, and rise again to give us new life and with that new life the promise of reconciliation and restoration. Your marriage is not encased in concrete. You are not stuck.

God not only calls you to change, but He has already given you everything you need to make the changes to which He has called you. Remember, you are not alone in your struggle. He has invaded your marriage with His powerful love and transforming grace.

Confess the things that have broken the trust between you and get to work building trust once again.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 154.

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“It’s called substitution” by John Piper

“Be sure you see this most wonderful and astonishing of all truths: God took the record of all your sins that made you a debtor to wrath (sins are offenses against God that bring down His wrath), and instead of holding them up in front of your face and using them as the warrant to send you to hell, God put them in the palm of His Son’s hand and drove a spike through them into the cross.

It is a bold and graphic statement: He canceled the record of our debt… nailing it to the cross (Col. 2:14). Whose sins were nailed to the cross? Answer: My sins. And Noël’s sins. My wife’s sins and my sins. The sins of all who despair of saving themselves and who trust in Christ alone.

Whose hands were nailed to the cross? Jesus’ were. There is a beautiful name for this. It’s called a substitution. God condemned my sin in Christ’s flesh. ‘Sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh’ (Rom. 8:3). Husbands and wives cannot believe this too strongly.”

–John Piper, This Momentary Marriage (Wheaton: Crossway, 2009), 45.

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